Lives of the fellows

Cicely Pearl Blair

b.20 May 1926 d.14 February 2005
MRCS LRCP(1951) MRCP(1974) FRCP(1984)

Cicely Pearl Blair was a consultant dermatologist in Romford. She was born Cicely Pearl Hopton in Huddersfield, the daughter of John Isaac Hopton. Both of her parents were teachers. She was educated at Greenhead High School, Huddersfield, and then studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1951.

She held house posts at the London Jewish Hospital and the Royal Free. She was then a resident medical officer and registrar at the London Jewish Hospital. She subsequently spent 15 years, from 1954 to 1969, in general practice in Chingford with her husband Henry Blair. She became increasingly interested in dermatology and eventually left general practice to start a career as a dermatologist. She held various posts, including a research assistant position at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. In 1975 she was appointed to her consultant post at Oldchurch Hospital, Romford. At Romford she helped to raise funds for the skin department, chairing a fundraising committee.

While researching acne comedones she established that the pigment in black-heads is melanin, a finding later confirmed when she studied albino patients with acne and found them only to have white-head comedones. She also wrote a paper on the rash caused by the caterpillar of the Browntail moth (Clin Exp Dermatol 1979 Jun;4[2]:215-22).

In her retirement she travelled extensively. She went twice to the Falkland Islands as a visiting dermatologist. She was an accomplished painter and a member of the Medical Art Society, showing her work at the Royal Society of Medicine, the Royal College of Physicians and at the Mall Galleries. She was also a silversmith and in 1990 made a chain of office for the president of the British Association of Dermatologists.

She married Henry Blair in 1954. He later became a clinical allergist to the respiratory department at Whipps Cross Hospital. They had no children. He predeceased her in 1984.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J.,330 2005 604; British Association of Dermatologists www.bad.org.uk/Portals/_Bad/History/Cecily%20Blair.pdf – accessed 12 March 2012]

(Volume XII, page web)

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